Educational Care and Play


  • Alessandro Bortolotti
  • Andrea Ceciliani



We monitored the relationship between educational care and free play by means of an “ecological observation method” involving more than 90 children aged 3 and 5 years; children were monitored and filmed while playing in the open space (courtyards) of their school. The data we collected were registered by check-list and elaborated statistically; they enabled us to order the observed phenomena according to different levels of analysis, and to carry out a clear comparison between the various school realities at stake. The collected data show a series of situations which can condition children play also in a considerable way, especially in relation to the following parameters: teachers behaviour in relation to conflict and physical danger; children age and gender; use/not use of available tools/toys and spaces. Moving from these parameters, it was possible to point out some actions of ‘educational care’ which can condition children’s free play by enhancing or inhibiting it: play rhapsody; improvisation and divergence; true spontaneity; technical gestures (manipulation) versus natural gestures/actions.

How to Cite

Bortolotti, A., & Ceciliani, A. (2007). Educational Care and Play. Ricerche Di Pedagogia E Didattica. Journal of Theories and Research in Education, 2(1).



Pedagogia e Didattica dei Servizi Educativi